|Fantasy Strategy: The Value of Real Time Trades|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on February 20, 2008
Erik Bedard, (SP, Mariners) - moves to a pitcher friendly park with a better offense behind him in a fairly weak division.
Miguel Cabrera (3B, Tigers)Â - Cabrera jumps from a decent offense to one of the best offenses in the American League, barring being out of shape this could lead to a greater number of RBIs and runs scored but thatâ€™s not a given when you consider that he was .320-34-119-91-2 last season - on the other hand if he makes the jump forward which is very possible he could be a MVP candidate.
Dontrelle Willis (SP, Tigers) - Willis is a hard one to analyze as heâ€™s slipped the last couple of years and finished 2007 with a 5.17 ERA and a declining strikeout to walk ratio.Â Heâ€™ll need to face stronger lineups due to the DH and stronger number 8 hitters, and that makes Willis into a late round pickup until he proves otherwise.
Adam Jones (OF, Orioles) - Jones was going to be the Mariners right fielder this season so there is no doubt that heâ€™s big league ready.Â He only had 65 at bats last season going .241-2-4-16-2 with the big team but he went .314-35-84-75-8 at AAA Tacoma last season.Â Thatâ€™s enough to make him a big time sleeper, even though he may start at the bottom of the lineup, heâ€™ll move up as his talent matures.
Philip Humber (SP, Twins) - Humber will battle for a rotation spot in Minnesota and if he wins the role heâ€™s a solid sleeper, but hardly an elite talent.Â Â Last year at AAA New Orleans 11-9, 4.27, WHIP 1.24 and 120 K's in 139 IP.Â Heâ€™s only 25 so he has a lot of upside, but probably not the kind of upside he showed in the lower minors where he kept his ERA under 3 and he averaged a strikeout per inning.
Carlos Gomez (OF, Twins) - Expect Gomez, barring a rotten spring, to take over one of the outfield spots, most likely center for the Twins.Â Â Heâ€™s a true speedster - perhaps the fastest player in the majors and could be a Carl Crawford type player in a few years.Â However he needs to work on his hitting eye as he strikes out a lot and has never hit above .287 at any level of the minors.Â Â Consider him a deep sleeper with the potential to steal 40 bases if he can keep the average major league ready.
Josh Hamilton (OF, Rangers) - Hamilton will be the Rangers center fielder and heâ€™s a super sleeper among mid round choices in any draft.Â He managed 19 home runs in 298 AB last year and could make a legitimate run at 40 in hitter friendly Arlington.Â Of course all of this is based upon him staying healthy.
Delmon Young (OF, Twins) - One of the most promising hitters in baseball has moved divisions from the AL east to the AL central a division that if anything might be tougher than the east in terms of competition but it really doesnâ€™t change his fantasy value at all.Â Heâ€™s still a talent in the developmental stage but one who could see 20-20 this season.Â Â His OBP is a concern and his value would go up dramatically if he learned to take a walk.Â Â Heâ€™s a top 25 outfielder in leagues which donâ€™t count OBP.
Matt Garza (SP, Rays) - Garza, a pitcher in the developmental stage of his career whoâ€™d be a better in a keeper league than as an immediate pick up.Â Heâ€™ll be the number three pitcher in Tampa and should be a solid enough pick up if you can handle the fact he wonâ€™t get a lot of wins in Tampa.Â Heâ€™s capable of taking a big step forward if he can get his walks under control but that 1.54 WHIP from last season is a scary thing.
Jason Bartlett (2B, Rays) - The light hitting Bartlett struggled a little bit in his first full season as a shortstop with his average falling off to a .265 with 5 home runs, but his steal total climbed up to 23 but his OBP fell from .367 to .339.Â Â The steals make him valuable but the Rays have better options at the top of the order than Bartlett and that could cut his value somewhat - as could his age (28).
Orlando Cabrera (SS, White Sox) - Cabrera is a solid glove shortstop whoâ€™s value will take aÂ very minor hit because of moving from a strong offense to a mediocre one.Â Â Heâ€™ll possibly get a few more green lights when it comes to stolen bases as the Sox try to create some runs, but Iâ€™d expect somewhere in the order of 85 runs rather than last yearâ€™s 101.
John Garland (SP, Angels) - Bounce Garland up a bit in the rankings for a number of reasons moving to a better offensive team and moving to a better pitcherâ€™s ballpark.Â Â Heâ€™s also in a contract year and just 28 years old - expect last yearâ€™s 10-13 record to be a distant memory when the season comes to a close.
Jacque Jones (OF, Tigers) - After a dynamite three year span from 2004 to 2006 Jones fell completely off the map in 2007.Â Â He managed just 5 home runs, a decrease of 22 from the year before but kept just about the same in other statistics and left everyone wondering just what happened.Â It might be that heâ€™s on the wrong side of 30 and his skills are in great decline.Â Rumors have him facing a possible platoon situation which makes him a late round pick at best.
Scott Rolen (3B, Jays) - Rolen is an injury risk and has been for several years but the Jays are optimistic that heâ€™ll be healthy and have regained a power stroke coming into 2008.Â Â If heâ€™s healthy heâ€™s still potentially a top 10, maybe even a top 5, third baseman as his 2006 numbers (.296-22-95-95-7) indicate.Â Â That being said I wouldnâ€™t draft him until the mid to late rounds of any draft and only then as a sleeper rather than a core player for any team.Â Hitting in Toronto will benefit him if heâ€™s healthy as will getting away from his issues with Tony LaRussa.